Bacon, it seems. is all over the place these days. I remember my colleague Marijke Rowland bringing in maple bacon cupcakes from The Cupcake Lady a couple of years back when she wrote about the bakery. I thought they sounded ridiculous, and of course, when I tried them, they were ridiculously good.
This week, Little Caesars announced a bacon pizza. That in itself isn’t terribly new, but the approach is: The sides of the deep-dish pizza are wrapped in bacon. Three and a half feet of it, according to a news release from the company.
That’s a lot of bacon. And it reminds me of one of my favorite shirts, which I saw at Disneyland about the same time I tried the cupcake. It read, “Roses are red, bacon is good, rhyming is hard ... mmmm, bacon.”
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT – One of our neighbors just celebrated a birthday, and it’s a big one. According to a news release that came in recently, Thomas P. Raley opened his first grocery store on Main Street in Placerville on Feb. 16, 1935.
The company has changed and grown in the 80 years since, now operating 128 stores with roughly 13,000 employees.
“My family and I are proud of how the company has grown over the last eight decades, and proud that we continue to provide high-quality, fresh and local products and exceptional customer service – just like my grandfather set out to do in 1935,” Mike Teel, Raley’s president and CEO, said in the release.
Not all that far behind Raley’s is Modesto-based Save Mart; the first of those stores opened in 1952.
▪ So it turns out I was wrong about the Habit Burger Grill. I wrote in a midweek column that the Santa Barbara-based chain was coming to Modesto, going into the shopping center at McHenry and Briggsmore avenues. I was right about that, but I was wrong about this being the restaurant’s first foray into the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
There is a Habit on March Lane in Stockton. Thank you so much to everyone who called or emailed to let me know about my mistake – we always strive for accuracy. Furthermore, thanks for those who also took the time to tell me a bit about the restaurant. It sounds like good stuff.
▪ After three years in business, Earl’s BBQ in Denair has closed.
A note on the restaurant’s now-defunct Facebook page noted the closure, which occurred on Valentine’s Day. The owners said the decision was made with heavy hearts, but with gratitude for the customers they served.
I hope the Earl’s folks find success in whatever they do next. I picked up barbecue from there a time or two – and it was delicious.
▪ And here’s my first Business Beat cliffhanger: Next week, I am going to tell you about a new restaurant planned for Hilmar with a very familiar name behind it.
Sometime in the next month or so, you’ll be able to pop into Lola Bistro and Express by John Surla. He talked to me about his plan, and it sounds like a neat idea, combining some of what goes into Surla’s in downtown Modesto with more of a cafe-type vibe.
Lola is named for Surla’s grandmother, who taught his mother and, in turn, him how to cook. If you have been to Surla’s, then you know she did a very good job.
Look for more information about Lola in next week’s column. In the meantime, there’s a hiring event for Lola. Interviews will be conducted at Surla’s, 431 12th St., Modesto, from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday and March 5. Interested applicants should bring their résumés.
Have an item for Business Beat? Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter, @pattyguerra.